India among top five e-waste generating nations: study

India among top five e-waste generating nations: study

Maharashtra contributes the largest e-waste of 19.8% but recycles only about 47,810 tonnes per annum. (Pic for representation only)

India continues to generate the highest e-waste vis-a-vis China, USA, Japan and Germany, according to a joint study by Assocham-NEC on the eve of World Environment Day.

In India, Maharashtra contributes the largest e-waste of 19.8% but recycles only about 47,810 TPA (tonnes per annum), whereas Tamil Nadu (13%) recycles about 52,427 TPA, Uttar Pradesh (10.1%) recycles about 86,130 TPA.

The global volume of e-waste generated is expected to reach 52.2 million tonnes or 6.8 kg/inhabitant by 2021 from 44.7 million tonnes in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 20%, the study on Electricals and Electronics Manufacturing in India revealed. Out of the total e-waste produced in 2016, only 20% (8.9 MT) is documented to be collected properly and recycled, while there is no record of the remaining e-waste.

The quantity of e-waste generated worldwide is expected to grow at a rate of 3.15 % (CAGR), due to which the estimate for the year 2018 has risen to 47.55 MT, noted the joint study.

The total value of all raw materials present in e-waste is estimated at approximately $ 61.05 billion in 2016, which is more than the GDP of most countries in the world, pointed out the joint study. E-waste generated in India is about 2 million TPA, the quantity that is recycled is about 4,38,085 TPA.

A mere 5% of India's total e-waste gets recycled due to poor infrastructure, legislation and framework which lead to a waste of diminishing natural resources, irreparable damage of environment and health of the people working in the industry. Over 95% of e-waste generated is managed by the unorganised sector and scrap dealers in this market, who dismantle the waste instead of recycling it.

E-waste typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), Printed Circuit Boards (PCB), mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, white goods such as Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD)/Plasma televisions, air conditioners, refrigerators and so on.

High and prolonged exposure to these chemicals/pollutants emitted during unsafe e-waste recycling leads to damage of nervous systems, blood systems, kidneys and brain development, respiratory disorders, skin disorders, bronchitis, lung cancer, heart, liver and spleen damage.